Planning a wedding: How to set your day apart from the crowd

You can admit it – you want your wedding to be better than your friend’s that’s later in the year. It’s natural. Although it’s your big day, most people want others to remember their wedding for the right reasons.

But planning a wedding can be stressful. There are a lot of things to think about – the venue, food, who to invite, the dress, and so on. That’s why the more creative ideas that ensure a wedding goes unforgotten sometimes get overlooked.

To make sure yours is a great event, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas that’ll make your wedding stand out. But first, make sure you’ve got these 10 essentials of planning a wedding covered:

  1. Know your budget
  2. Have a list of must-haves and another for nice-to-haves
  3. Send your invites early and include a RSVP date
  4. Check your passports will be valid for the honeymoon
  5. Buy a gift to give your other half on the morning after
  6. Make sure key people – e.g. bridesmaids and groomsmen – know their role
  7. Decide your hair and make-up in advance
  8. Confirm numbers to your caterers and wedding venue
  9. Consider wedding insurance
  10. Celebrate

Capture your guests at their best (or worst)

Hiring a photographer for the day is almost a given when planning a wedding nowadays. It’s great to have plenty of photos of the guests together, as well as the typical family set ups.

But you can never have too many photos. And, to get more personal and casual photos, hire a photo booth for your guests to pose and make funny faces in. It’s something interactive for them to get involved with and most services print out instant photos – just make sure you arrange for digital copies too. Then you can have a chuckle afterwards and share them online.

So, provide some props and guests will have a great time. You’ll probably have a queue on your hands.

Pre-ceremony cocktails

It’s unlikely your guests will be expecting any drinks before the reception – so surprise them with a selection of beverages whilst they’re waiting for the ceremony to start. It’s probably not a great idea to serve anything too strong though.

Mimosas or spritzers are a great idea for something they can sip whilst chatting to the other guests before taking their seats. It makes the inevitable huddles of people and any possible delays look like they’re planned.

Prepare signature cocktails

While we’re talking about drinks, why not create a few signature cocktails for your wedding? Choose a couple of your favourite classic cocktails and give them a twist. For example, a pear martini. Not only does it give a personal touch to the drinks offering, you can serve them up at any future events you host.

If you add a couple of bottles of spirits to your weekly shop in the months ahead of the wedding, you’ll quickly amass quite the collection and spread the cost.

Give a personal wedding favour

Whilst it’s standard for guests to bring gifts, wedding favours are sometimes an afterthought when planning. But don’t waste your budget on pointless trinkets and gifts that will probably be left at the hotel.

Instead, hire a caricaturist to provide some light-hearted amusement on the day, as well as a lasting memory for your guests afterwards.

Make a video to send out

Modern video technology and editing tools are good enough for amateurs to capture the best of an event. So hunt down your friend with a Go Pro and ask them to get people’s thoughts on the day. They should be able to capture some natural moments and hopefully some hilarious comment.

It’s something you can share online with both those who attended and those who weren’t unable to – show them what they missed.

Enough about taking photos and videos, you’ve got to make sure the actual event looks beautiful too. But one of the key elements of a good photo is also something that can make your wedding stand out – decent lighting.

Light it up

For something a bit different, you can hire illuminated letters to spell out Mr & Mrs, love or individual letters. CEP also offer LED starlit dance floors and giant walkabout LED frames to add that bit of shine and sparkle to your event. One, or a combination, of these unique lighting offerings is sure to set your wedding apart from the crowd.

Keep it cool

For a stand-out focal point to your wedding reception, why not consider creating a custom ice sculpture? CEP can produce any shape and size – from swans and elephants to custom initials in hearts.

Create welcome packs for out-of-town guests

If you’ve got guests coming from far away, it’s a nice touch to prepare them a starter pack. Include a local map and recommendations for a good coffee shop, restaurants and where the nearest open-all-hours shop is for any last minute necessities. After all, you want them turning up to your wedding in the best mood.

You could also put some treats – handmade sweets or a local jam, for example – and hangover cures in too.

Make-your-own-flower station

Flowers are typically the central point of wedding table decorations. You can get florists to create some fantastic centrepieces. But, to be honest, even the best arrangements can be forgettable when each table matches. Instead, set up a flower station where guests can make their own bouquets to adorn the tables.

You can keep some consistency with the range of flowers on offer and the guests will have a great time getting creative. You could also include things like feathers and decorative twigs to fuel their imagination.

Hire interactive servers and performers

You won’t be able to get round to spending time with all of your guests. In fact, don’t make it your priority because your enjoyment of the day will suffer if you’re fussing about other people.

Instead, make sure guests are entertained and have plenty of drinks. CEP can help you out with both. For example, walking champagne tables will both draw attention and serve a purpose – keeping your guests topped up with alcohol and appetisers.

You can also hire living statues to welcome your guests in style.

Personalise your dress or suit

When Angelina Jolie revealed her wedding veil, embroidered with designs her children had drawn, it changed the game. Few people before had considered veering away from traditional style in such a way.

Indeed, few people would be brave enough now. So, if you do, people will definitely remember it. Some brides are starting to play with colour by wearing wedding dresses in blush tones and light greys. Alternatively, you could flash some colour with your shoes.

Personalise tables and name places

Getting everyone to their seats at the reception can be a pain. So guide them to their tables with a friends and family seating tree and ensure they can spot their place cards on the table.

You could also include a ‘Get to Know the Wedding Party’ section in the reception area, explaining the bride and groom’s history with everyone. Include stories that other guests might not know for a bit of entertainment.

Recognise others 

A nice touch to acknowledge your parents and/or married siblings is to ask the DJ or band to play their first dance song – after yours, of course. It’s a small gesture that only they might notice, but thoughtful nonetheless.

Put on a show

We’re not talking about the standard wedding entertainment, but something that will genuinely wow your guests. CEP’s aerial acts are breath-taking and will take your wedding up a notch.

Depending on the height and rigging points of your venue, different types of aerial acts are available, including hoop, silks and chandelier acts. There are also freestanding aerial hoop acts, so even if your venue isn’t equipped for aerial rigging, you and your guests can enjoy the mesmerising performance of an aerial act.

Don’t underestimate confetti

Confetti seems to divide opinion when planning a wedding. It goes without saying that confetti throwing makes for a great wedding photo – but not all churches allow you to throw confetti. Why? Because it can be a bit of a pain to get rid of and you can’t be sure all your guests are going to throw it at the right time.

Alternatives to traditional confetti include bubbles or mini pom poms. You could also hire a confetti cannon from CEP for the end of your first dance to make sure there’s a spectacular explosion of flower petals.

Alternative wedding cakes 

Traditional wedding cakes are fruit cakes and, I don’t know about you, but they’re not my favourite. Whilst different flavoured sponges have been a popular choice for weddings for some time, more adventurous alternatives exist.

These include: towers of doughnuts, cheesecakes, macaroon stands, pancakes and an assortment of cheeses. Consider one of these more interesting takes on the wedding cake to delight your guests. You’ll also have a great time taste testing.

A walk down memory lane

All of your guests will have known you and your partner at different stages of your life and for various reasons – life-long friends, workplace buddies, third cousins twice removed… and so on. The common thread that ties them all together is you. They’ve come together to celebrate your big day.

So put aside any modesty and show off your relationship. Take them down memory lane with photos of your past – for example, your first date and the proposal. 

Have something for the kids

If you’re having a child-friendly wedding, you’ll need to make sure there’s something to entertain them. Of course, you don’t want to ruin the overall aesthetic of your wedding with a kids theme, though. That’s why an all-white bouncy castle is the perfect idea.

Combine that with a magician and both young and older attendees will be entertained for hours.

Midnight snacks

After the party has been going on for a few hours, your guests are bound to be hungry again. Satisfy their cravings by offering something like burgers or fish and chips. Just speak to your caterers and make sure there’s a good way of presenting it. You don’t want to spoil all of the careful wedding planning with paper bags of chips.

Wedding advice box

Even the happiest of couples will experience a first argument after getting married. Setting up a wedding advice box is a great way of showing you don’t take yourself too seriously and are after advice on how to handle bumps on the road.

That way, when the argument does happen, you’ll be too busy laughing over the tips of others to remember why you were angry.

Have the occasion painted

As a treat to yourself, you can now hire live painters to capture your wedding as it happens. All you have to do is set them up with a good perspective of the room and guests. They’ll provide you with something truly special that reflects the emotion and energy of the day to keep forever.

Tell them it was a great day

Last but not least, eliminate any risk with planning a wedding and don’t give others a choice in whether they enjoyed the day or not. Hire a hypnotist to trick the suggestible amongst your guests. Jokes aside, a stage hypnotist will entertain and delight.

To ensure you’re planning the best wedding, contact us today. We’ll be able to talk you through all of the entertainment options available. Also, if you’re after something in particular, we’ll help you find it.